Bill Walton was raised on an 1,100 acre cattle operation in Olathe, Kan. His family used horses for daily tasks - moving and gathering cattle and roping and doctoring cattle in the pasture. Pasture roping helped Bill develop the skills he needed to be successful in calf roping and eventually led him down the path of rodeo competitions.Bill knew at an early age that horses were his true passion. His father was an expert in cattle, but knew very little about horses. His dad did, however, support his two sons’ desire to compete in calf roping. He built them an outdoor arena with roping chutes and also went to the Bivens Ranch in Texas and bought five, 2-year-old fillies who had never seen a human being. (That was an adventure in itself.) Out of one of those fillies was American Quarter Horse named Barfly Skip. When Skip was just a 2-year-old gelding, and Bill was just 16, the pair won the American Royal Registered Roping. To not only stay competitive, but to train horses successfully, Bill soon realized that the more control he had over his horses’ body parts, the better they would perform. He started studying Dressage movements, which he credits as the key to his success in his roping, training and instructing career - some of which are listed below:•Winning the URA calf roping finals•Winning and placing in numerous calf and team roping competitions•Training numerous calf roping horses, of which two were placed with World Champion Calf Roper Joe Beaver•Starting numerous Warm Blood Dressage horses, of which one was selected to be the first American-bred 6-year-old to represent the USA in the Germany championships, and another who went on to compete in the Rolex Kentucky Competition•Instructing students in dressage movements, of which one student went on to winthe Young Riders Eventing Championship in Kentucky and another student won theYouth Reining at the Morgan NationalsBill claims to be self-taught; but if you ask him who his first professor was, he would give the nod to Barfly Skip. This is the 2-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding he had won on in the American Royal. Skip was the horse that gave his daughter the opportunity to learn how to ride; he was Bill’s ranch horse and his competition calf-roping horse. Skip died at age 33 on the ranch.Bill says he has been fortunate to make a living in the horse industry. He gives thanks to God’s grace; hard work and dedication to his passion; support from his parents, students and clients; and realizing at an early age that Dressage movements are the keys to better horsemanship.